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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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Career change brings diverse skills into the classroom (Vic)

The Victorian Government's Career Change Program makes it possible for  trades people and professionals to expedite the transition from their former occupations to the classroom. The program requires participants to attend a summer school at Victoria University, and be supervised by an experienced teacher when appointed to a school. Twenty-eight new teachers will enter Victorian schools under the program this year. For more details of the Career Change Program see Media Release, 6 January 2005.    

2005 = Reading, writing, spelling in our schools (SA)

The South Australian Government's early years literacy plan came into effect on 31 January 2005. Under the plan there will be more teachers allocated to work individually with Year 1 students, thirty skilled literacy teachers to assist classroom teachers, designated literacy professional development for all preschool teachers and primary teachers from Years 1-3, and a requirement for all primary schools to create a literacy plan. For more information see News Release, 31 January 2005.  

Public schools students' best performance on record (WA)

Sixty per cent of Western Australian Public Schools have improved their performance on the Tertiary Entrance Examinations (TEE). This improvement saw 10 public school students ranked among the top 25 students in Western Australia. According to the Western Australian Minister for Education and Training, Alan Carpenter, this achievement was part of a general improvement in public school students' performances in 2004, a trend that has been assisted by the Academic Performance Improvement Team, which was established in May last year. For more information, as well as a list of Western Australian schools that improved their TEE performances, see Media Statement, 13 January 2005.    

High school retention rates highest in a decade: Minister (WA)

The Western Australian Minister for Education and Training, Alan Carpenter, has rebutted claims that retention rates in Western Australian schools are declining. According to the Minister, the Year 10 to 12 overall retention rate is at its highest level in years, rising from a low of 58.2 per cent in 1996 to 63 per cent in 2004. For more information see Media Statement, 28 January 2005.       

Canberra students head back to school

The ACT Minister for Education and Training, Katy Gallagher, reminded the ACT community that Education Act 2004 came into effect on 1 January 2004. The new legislation will govern the delivery of education in the ACT, and contains provisions regarding parental responsibility for children's enrolment in school. Information regarding the Education Act will be distributed to all parents during the first school term. For more information see Media Release, 31 January 2004. 

New curriculum in Thailand

Thailand has introduced new curricula and teaching procedures for primary and secondary schools, focussing on students needs rather than rote learning. See report from MCOT News, 26 January 2005.

Qld Teachers reporting suspected child abuse

Queensland Education Minister Anna Bligh has welcomed the release of a study commissioned by the Abused Child Trust into factors influencing the detection and reporting of child abuse and neglect by Queensland State school teachers. According to Education Queensland data, school staff made 2492 reports of suspected child abuse, harm and neglect to central office and other relevant Government agencies, such as the Department of Child Safety, Police or Queensland Health.  See Ministerial media statements,  27 January 2005.

Teaching students fail basic maths

A Year 8 mathematics test was failed by a quarter of first-year, primary teaching students underaking a Bachelor of Education course at the University of New England. Forty of the 179 student teachers scored less than 50% in the Third International Maths and Science Study, designed to assess the mathematics competencies of Year 8 students. See report in The Australian, 19 January 2005.

University of Western Australia plans high school

The University of Western Australia is to open a foundation college for Year 11 and 12 international students. The University expects to attract enrolments from the students when they complete their secondary studies. See article in The Australian, 19 January 2005.

No exemptions on teacher offences in Vic

The Victorian Government has dismissed calls to make provision for 'exceptional circumstances' when police checks uncover teachers found guilty of past criminal offences. The Australian Education Union had called on the Government to amend the legislation to allow discretion when there is no chance of the person offending in relation to a student. The controversy follows the suspension of a teacher after a mandatory check revealed a sexual offence. See article in The Age, 25 January 2005.

Call for schools to embrace Aboriginal culture

School children of all ages would be taught about Indigenous cultures in classrooms across the country under a scheme suggested by Governor-General Michael Jeffery. See report in The Age, 24 January 2005.

Formal grammar is 'ineffective'

Formal grammar is not an effective way of teaching children to write, according to British researchers at the University of York, after what is claimed as the largest ever review of research on the subject. The researchers argue that students learn more effectively by 'combining short sentences into longer ones, and embedding elements into simple sentences to make them more complex'. See report from BBC News, 18 January 2005.

Visual arts and music both to be compulsory at junior level in Arkansas, USA

Arkansas primary schools must offer both visual art and music to all students before 1 June 2005, and that state's Governor has called for a similar requirement for schools all over the country. See report in Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 29 November 2004.